Effects of a natural parasitical infection (Lernanthropus kroyeri) on the immune system of European sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax L

TitleEffects of a natural parasitical infection (Lernanthropus kroyeri) on the immune system of European sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax L
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsHenry, M, Alexis MN, Fountoulaki E, Nengas I, Rigos G
JournalParasite Immunology
Volume31
Issue12
Pages729 - 740
KeywordsEuropean sea bass, Lernanthropus kroyeri, Lysozyme, Nitric oxide, Respiratory burst activity, Serum antibacterial activity
Abstract

The immune response of European sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax, to a natural infection by the copepod parasite Lernanthropus kroyeri was evaluated for the first time in vivo. The results clearly demonstrated the triggering of the fish immune system by the parasite. Lysozyme activity and alternative complement pathway were involved in the early action against the parasitical infection, whilst classical complement and respiratory burst (RB) activity took over in the later stages of infection. It was hypothesized that the levels of alternative and classical complement and RB stimulation indexes may determine the resistance capacity of the fish to the parasite. It is not clear how parasites can survive despite the strong immunological arsenal deployed by the fish. The continual increase of prevalence and severity of parasite infection suggested that the parasite's mechanism of evasion of the immune system was extremely successful. The contrasting decrease in the negative effects of parasites on the fish health (such as gills anaemia) suggested that an equilibrium between the parasites and their hosts was reached in chronic infection. These dynamic interactions between parasites and fish hosts were probably the main determinant of host specificity. © 2009 Hellenic Centre for Marine Research.

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